Charter change topbills Senate priority agenda
THE proposed revision of the 1987 Constitution would lead the list of priority bills to be tackled by the Senate when it resumes its session on Monday, Jan. 15, said Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III.
Pimentel said the Senate would “work harder to improve the quality of life for all,” as they tackle its priority bills for the new year.
Three bills on the proposed amendments of the Constitution have been filed in the Senate, by Senators Franklin Drilon, Richard Gordon and Juan Miguel Zubiri, all of which are set to be discussed by the Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revisions of codes on Jan. 17.
Pimentel and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez had both expressed their support for convening both houses of Congress as a constituent assembly as a way of amending the 1987 Constitution to pave the way for the shift to federalism.
Pimentel said the Senate would also work on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, the proposed Anti-Terrorism Law, the proposed National ID System Act and the proposed Universal Health Care for All Filipinos Act.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said the Senate is united against moves to have both houses of Congress vote jointly, a move that would make the Senate vote almost insignificant, as there are only 24 senators to 294 lawmakers in the House.
Pimentel, and Senators Panfilo Lacson, Grace Poe and JV Ejercito have said they oppose joint voting.
Also on Friday, former senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said there is no need to postpone elections in 2019 even if the country shifts to a federal form of government.
Talking to radio dzBB, the former senator and father of the current Senate president said the constitutional right of Filipinos to choose their leaders through elections should never be compromised.